A court in Sweden has ruled that it is acceptable to masturbate in public as long as it is not directed at anyone. The ruling came in a landmark judgement following a case brought against a man seen touching himself on a beach.
The 65-year-old man, who dropped his shorts close to the water at Drevviken beach, Stockholm, and started to masturbate, was initially charged with sexual assault. But in a surprise ruling, the Södertörn District Court acquitted the man. While the judgement stated it ‘may be proven that the man exposed himself and masturbated on this occasion’, it subsequently added that no offence had been committed.
Public prosecutor Olof Vrethammar told the Mitti newspaper that he wasn’t planning to appeal the ruling. “For this to be a criminal offence it’s required that the sexual molestation was directed towards one or more people. I think the court’s judgement is reasonable,” he said. When asked if it was now acceptable to masturbate in public if you don’t direct it towards a specific individual the prosecutor said it was “okay. The district court has made a judgement on this case. With that we can conclude that it is okay to masturbate on the beach. The act may be considered to be disorderly conduct.” Source : Sweden’s English language news website, The Local.